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fox

Research project help?

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I need to narrow my topic for a research paper for the History class I'm currently in - The History of Childbirth and Women's Bodies.

I want to focus in on pregnancy and infant loss (miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth and the like) and how women were expected to behave in their grief and mourning process. But, that's too big. So. I need to narrow. I'm just not sure exactly how to go about doing that. Would it help to choose a timeframe? Probably. I like the idea of middle England (LARGELY because pre-Anglican midwives were actually given the rite of baptism in emergency situations, due to infant loss and the barring of men from the birthing chamber. Because that's fucking brilliant and I am in awe of it), but I think colonial America would be fascinating and much more in line with my actual interests (modern reactions to pregnancy and infant loss, and grief and bereavement). AND I think I'd like to focus on midwife birthing, largely because it's my personal favourite model of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum healthcare.

Help? :) 

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So, looking at the societal expectations of women after loss of an infant? Specifically what... like, if there was amount of time that was acceptable to grieve, expected to get back on the horse so to say, expectations of dress and decorum. Or possibly what the loss said about woman and how the community viewed the individual. Or possibly what the religious implications were. I'd imagine focusing on that time frame would look more at miscarriage and stillbirth, or maybe compare those to the grief or views should the child survive birth, but pass away after some time had passed. 

Or what the overall impact of infant mortality meant for woman expected to bear children to their husbands, and what the stress such knowledge would have on woman, and whether how they handle that stress and the societal pressure would have an effect on time spent grieving a loss (ok, this would probably be rather difficult, searching for correlations in a not-modern time period). 

I don't really know, i'm just throwing things out in the void at this point lol 

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@fox I would narrow it down by specifying both a time period (make one large enough to have decent data, but narrow enough to be meaningful (50-100 years) and a culture.   As you've expressed interest in both English and Colonial America, you could pick a period in the 1700's, where you could then compare and contrast the differences between English in England, and any differences in how they were expected to act in the colonies. 

Edited by icewlf
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My pregnancy and labour was all midwife led. I only saw a consultant once when they had trouble getting a good scan of Oliver's heart. The fact you can build a bond with the women helping you through your pregnancy I think helps to reassure you and feel able to talk to them about anything, even if you think it is silly.

As for your research maybe join the middle England time line with the more modern one. I think they are closely linked and it might be interesting to see the similarities as well as the difference.

If you have any questions about my pregnancy and labour feel free to ask anything :)

And good luck x x

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You guys are wonderful, thank you! Yes yes yes.

And @icewlf - compare/contrast of places in a similar/same time period is brilliant. (We actually did that for class. Half the class read the diary of a midwife from Germany, and the other half one from the US. It was brilliant. One of my classmates commented that she would not pick up the German text for "fun" reading with tea, as the other was much more story driven and readable. I flipped through the German diary...would SO read that for fun. Passions are so weird.)

But no no no, you guys. Thank you! :hug:

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On 10/18/2017 at 10:01 PM, Aliea said:

My pregnancy and labour was all midwife led. I only saw a consultant once when they had trouble getting a good scan of Oliver's heart. The fact you can build a bond with the women helping you through your pregnancy I think helps to reassure you and feel able to talk to them about anything, even if you think it is silly.

As for your research maybe join the middle England time line with the more modern one. I think they are closely linked and it might be interesting to see the similarities as well as the difference.

If you have any questions about my pregnancy and labour feel free to ask anything :)

And good luck x x

Also. You. Dude. I've been considering a pregnancy/birth/allthethingsassociated thread recently, I JUST MAY DO THAT. 

Because I am a birth nerd. And I love to hear/read stories. All of them. Every story is important and valid.

(And YES. The bond. OMG. So helpful. That's part of the reason I had such successful birth experiences. Not my midwives per se, but my doula. She is my goddamn heart and soul.)

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